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Was Stinger Really Stung?

Is anybody buying this?

I mean, I don't have reason to doubt former Detroit Fox affiliate anchorwoman Fanchon Stinger when she says she was used and abused by her ex-boyfriend, and if she was, I'm glad she's out from under that mess. I also don't doubt her claim that her ex, the now-convicted Rayford Jackson, was as toxic as Synagro sludge.

But her interview with my man M.L. Elrick still left me rather puzzled.

For starters, there was this...

Speaking of Jackson, who was sentenced last month to 5 years in prison for bribery, Stinger said: "He portrayed himself as a moral, upstanding person who had a high level of values. ... All of that, in hindsight, was a carefully crafted lie."

Ya don't say. And Stinger, once one of the highest-profile TV journalists in this city, actually bought this lie? She thought Jackson was a "moral, upstanding person" despite the fact that he had a wife and four kids while they were dating? Despite the fact that, even before news of the scandal hit airwaves, there were still countless number of people in the city who knew good and well that Jackson was knee-deep in corruption? She didn't bother to check sources on this one?

Apparently not...

Stinger said he often portrayed himself as someone trying to improve Detroit, despite opposition from his enemies.

Yeah, your man is a developer and a consultant for a sludge-hauling company whose deal calls for building another filthy incinerator in the city and you think of him as someone who wants to "improve" our town? And worse, according to Synagro anyway, you use your eponymous media consultancy to help lobby in favor of the dirty sludge-hauling deal?

OK, then, well what about when your own people started warning you about the dude, as her former Fox 2 colleague Scott Lewis said co-workers were doing well before she got fired?

Stinger declined to discuss that Tuesday.


Elsewhere in the piece, she says she started dating Jackson in 2005 and, by 2006, was loaning the dude $60,000 to "pay an investor." And then she says she bought him a Rolls-Royce and a Ferrari after he claimed a tax lawyer was working out "problems that complicated his finances." Guess the Chevy dealership was closed. Cool. But then why not just let him drive one of your own cars?

And it's not enough that she paid for high-end whips for the man. She also acted as Jackson's chauffeur...

One reason they were often seen together, Stinger said, is "he did not have a car to drive. So why was I with him? I was there to drive him around."

So the Rolls couldn't get him to the meetings with Monica Conyers on his own?

Of course, the kicker for me was when Stinger claimed, "I would never have imagined that someone would take money and never intend to pay it back." But, as Elrick points out at the end of that very same line, the woman spent years working as an investigative reporter at Fox 2.

Isn't that remark then akin to a veteran homicide cop with years on the job professing utter shock at the idea that someone might actually shoot another person?

Look, I get that Stinger wants to rehabilitate her image, which took a severe beating during the scandal. (Let me also add that I'm not totally convinced that she should've been fired to begin with, given that she was never investigated or charged and that Fox seems to have no qualms about employing other dubious characters.) I also respect that Stinger says she wants to crusade against domestic violence and get back to TV, where she once earned as much as $320,000 as, in my opinion, a pretty solid on-air personality. And since I have a tendency to root for homegrown journalism talent, I'd like to see her land somewhere.


Throughout the 90-minute interview, Stinger repeatedly placed the blame for her summer 2008 firing from Fox 2 on Jackson, and deflected any personal responsibility for a liaison that raised sharp questions about her ethical responsibilities as a broadcast journalist.

I'd have to imagine that any prospective audiences and/or employers might still harbor those sharp questions about Fanchon Stinger's credibility. And if you ask me, her interview with the Freep didn't do much to dispel them.

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  • 1

    A lot of good women get taken down by the frailties and insecurities that allow them to stay in manipulative and violent relationships in the first place.

    Jackson probably has many of the paranoid narcissist characteristics KKilpatrick displays. Paranoid narcissists are hell in any kind of relationship.

    (Perfect line: "Moreover, the narcissist has delusions of grandeur. Important Men deserve Important Enemies.")

  • 2


    One wonders if your guy M.L will return his Pulitzer Price since it now appears that the gloryhounds at the Freep did nothing since the greedy ambulance chasing atty Stefani gave the Freep the texts..So much for all that hard investigative journalism..

    Opps sorry wrong subject!! But maybe not since this thread is about the credibility of reporters and media,lol,lol

  • 3

    Stinger was just another well-spoken, attractive face on TV, passed off to the viewing public as an investagative reporter. Local news these days is just stupid. Last night Channel 7 passed on a story of a mother somewhere in America, that took the batteries out of her daughter's Hannah Montana doll because she thought it was saying a dirty word. Important local news....

  • 4

    To be blunt, I don't believe a word of her story.

    Given the number of inconsistencies between her assertions and the official record (she denies working for Synagro, etc, etc), her refusal to even acknowledge her questionable ethics, and the sheer lack of evidence of domestic violence, it's hard to view this claim as anything more than a crass attempt to manufacture victim status out of thin air.

    Jackson was abusive but she never told anyone? No one noticed her bruised or in pain? No personal protection order? Just, "the FBI called me and, hallelujah praise the Christ Jesus, I've been saved." Usually in these high-profile relationships, it takes all of 15 minutes for someone to come forward and say: "yeah he hit her, I saw the bruises but she didn't want to do anything"

    Fanchon claims the FBI uncovered the abuse during their corruption investigation. She says they have it on tape. Is Fanchon pushing to let that evidence enter the public record so she can press charges? Total silence on that.

    Unlike Carmen Harlen or Diana Lewis, I wasn't born yesterday. Speaking of Harlen and Lewis, their softball Fanchon Stinger interviews were embarrassing even by the standards of local tv news. This kind of baseless accusation does no favors for actual domestic violence victims.

    Is it any wonder that Detroit's government is a non-functioning kleptocracy when journalists behave like these three blind mice?


  • 5

    The number of responses to this blog speaks volumes about how weary many of us are growing with stories of folks "sitting on top of the world" falling from grace due, in large part, to their own greed or narcissism. Although Jackson will soon go to prison for his part in the corruption scandal, Ms. Stinger seems to be her beautiful home with no where else to turn...Give me a break....C'mon Fanchon...lick your wounds....flash that million dollar smile...and get back to work...investigating topics and issues that make a difference to more than just you.....Dont mean to sound insensitive...but who really feels sorry for Fanchon??? I know SHE knew better !!!

  • 6

    I don't know if Stinger was stung but something is not right with this. Consider this:

    1. On December 1, Stinger is gives an interview to Channel 4. She refers to Scott Lewis' story as "gutter journalism" and the only comment she will make about FOX 2 is

    I am moving forward. . .. I will say that all my legal issues with my former employer have been resolved.

    2. on the VERY SAME DAY, Scott Lewis announces his retirement from FOX 2. Something is fishy about Scott Lewis' retirement. For instance, his last day is December 29th, which is a Tuesday. Whose last day of work is a Tuesday? This is conveniently exactly 4 weeks from his announcement, which indicates to me that Scott Lewis is using all his vacation time before he "retires."

    If I were a betting man, I would say that Scott Lewis' "retirement" is connected to Stinger resolving all her legal issues with FOX 2.

  • 7

    The only thing Stinger forgot to say was Jackson had weapons of mass destruction.

  • 8

    air force

    Was Stinger Really Stung? - The Detroit Blog -

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